Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cellist Tahirah Whittington in Core Ensemble's 'Ain't I A Woman' Thurs. March 29, 7:30 PM

The University at Albany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences and in conjunction the Office of Multicultural Student Success, is pleased to present the Core Ensemble in a performance of Ain’t I a Woman! on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:30pm.  This chamber theatre work celebrates the life and times of four powerful African American women: renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter and fervent civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer.

Chamber music theatre is a unique performance format developed by the Core Ensemble featuring a marriage of theatrical narrative to chamber music performance.  Performers in Ain’t I a Woman! include cellist Tahirah Whittington, pianist Hugh Hinton, percussionist Michael Parola and actress Shinnerrie Jackson, who portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio.  The show is written by Minneapolis native Kim Hines, a playwright, actor and stage director who is currently an Associate Artist at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.The musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban vitality of the Jazz Age and contemporary concert music by African Americans.

Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured its works in every region of the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the British Virgin Islands. Performances have taken place in such prestigious venues as the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park SummerStage, the Chautauqua Institution, the Daytona International Festival, the Fromm Series at Harvard University and New Music Festivals in Massachusetts, California, Ohio and Indiana.

Originally from Houston, Tahirah Whittington has performed for audiences in the United States, Chile, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Bermuda, St. Kitts and Japan. She is a founding member of The Young Eight, a touring string octet based in Seattle, and a resident member of the Ritz Chamber Players based in Jacksonville, FL. She is featured on Cedille Records' recording of Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's unaccompanied cello work, "Lamentations: a Black Folk Song Suite," for which she received a Grammy nomination.  [Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004) is profiled at, which features a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

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